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Chaplain, 4th Class, The Revd Fr Charles Blaquhan Whitefoord (1903)


Chaplain, 4th Class, The Revd Fr Charles Blaquhan Whitefoord (1903)


Army Chaplains’ Department, attached to 6th (City of London) Battalion (Rifles), London Regiment.

Charles Whitefoord, born on 6th January 1885 in Tenbury, Worcestershire, was the elder son of Samuel Charles Whitefoord and Mary, née Mills.

He was educated at Rugby School, and came up to Merton in 1903. After obtaining his degree, he served as a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury.

He enlisted on 29th November 1916, and served in France.

He had gone with an Officer to find a grave in a village near the front line and, as they were returning, he was wounded by shell fire and died soon after reaching the 3rd Canadian Hospital at Étaples, on 30th May 1918, aged 33.

An officer who served with him later wrote:

"One incident will show the spirit in which he worked among us. He was in a ruined village about a thousand yards from the fighting. Shells were falling, glass and bricks were flying about. Father Whitefoord found a man who had lost his steel helmet. In an instant he handed his own to the soldier, and then carried on excellent work in succouring the wounded."

He is buried at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, France. He is also commemorated on the war memorial at Shrewsbury Cathedral, and on the memorial to the Royal Army Chaplains Department in the Royal Garrison Church of All Saints, Aldershot, Hampshire.


Merton@750 Anniversary Collection


Photo: courtesy Rugby School

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